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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 24, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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asked, do you think that long-term unemployment will make president obama a one-term president in it was split. and tomorrow of course is thanksgiving. can we say a prayer for all of the men and women that served this country in uniform around the world? they'd love to be at home with their family, the way you will be at home tomorrow with yours. let's give a big thanks to the men and women in uniform in this country who are around the world serving. that's "the ed show." have a great thanksgiving. i'll see you back here on monday. who you gonna call? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, national security phonies, what happened to the idea of the gop as the party of national security, you
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know, tough on comis, tough on terrorist, tough on anybody who might attack us? for some reason, folks on the right are now stoking the outrage over the new tsa airline security measures. but before we join the parade, think about what may be at the end of it, make no mistake, they will be the same ones, those on the right pointing fingers when some terrorist does take down a u.s. jetliner. and john kyl has decided to scuttle the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, for no reason other than cheap political gain either that or neocon nostalgia for the cold war. apparently national security takes a back seat for the gop if political points can be scored. plus, what are president obama's chances of being re-elected in 2012? republicans are feeling confident, just as confident as they felt right after the 1994 midterms, two years before bill clinton cruised to a second term. we will survey the field with two former presidential candidates. also, sarah palin, michele bachmann, hillary clinton, nikki haley, women are more powerful
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than ever, but this is not your mother's republican or democratic party. how women are changing the face of american politics. and on this day before thanksgiving, we honor america's fighting men and women. the first service member wounded in iraq joins us to talk about the two american wars right now. and finally, let me finish to give thanks for the opportunity to have this job and talk to you every day. let's begin with republicans putting politics over national security. david corn, the washington bureau chief for mother jones and john feehery a republican strategist. joh, i want to start with you, because this is peculiar behavior. show you a quick montage of what the right has been saying about these new airline security measures at the airport. let's listen. >> the federal fondling is an unconstitutional search and seizure. >> absolutely. >> obama-led government agents are acting like perverts in some places, under orders. >> it's just symptomatic, a
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tip of the iceberg of the problems of the tsa. >> we have lost a level of our freedom in order to retain a level of our freedom. >> they are not using common sense, not using intelligence. >> well, a lot of people are finally starting to say keep your hands off my t-bag, mr. president. >> it feels too much from this administration like we are playing a defensive game in the war on terrorism. >> i think that, john, i think your buddy rush limbaugh made the point here, joining the tea bag movement, or rather using that phrase, keep your hands off of my t-bag. why is he joining those people who are super sensitive about airline frisks that you only apparently get if you refuse the screening, and you're -- i don't know what you're into that position anyway but most people like me fly a couple hundred times a year, have no problem with what's going on. we know the game here, the serious game of avoiding getting a plane blown up. these people seem to have other issues. why are the republicans becoming soft on national defense? >> well, chris, i -- first of all, i reject completely your assertion. >> i thought you would. that's why you're here.
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>> the republicans have supported president obama when it came to reinforcing our troops in afghanistan. john boehner put out a supportive statement today on north korea. you know, and on this tsa event, you know, the aclu is against this as well. i mean, this -- what is going on with tsa is a vast overreach. we all want to fly safely, we all agree with that, but the tactics they are using are invasive and i think a lot of people on the left and the right have raised legitimate questions, if this is the best way to frisk grandmothers and 5-year-old children that doesn't make any sense. >> okay. . >> we have somebody on the left here -- you can speak on the left here, feehery, speak for the right, get silent on the left. corn, it is a right-wing parade here. >> i am so happy that the right-wing is now touting the merits of aclu. >> the aclu. >> the only time ever that john or anybody else has used it,
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good for them politically. just heard bobby jindal saying the obama administration is playing defense. we had the 200th drone attack just the other day. you know, obama is doing a lot more in terms of going to the terrorists directly than bush did. may be wrong, may be right, you can't argue he is weak. we send thousands, tens of thousands of men and women to afghanistan to fight and kill and we are complaining about taking our shoes off in long lines? i mean, i think rather than these talking heads or shouting heads trying to make political hay out of this we need to have -- i think, if we can, a decent national discourse about what is the right way to deal with this profound problem? this is asymmetrical warfare at its best. there are millions of travelers, tens of thousands of flights a day. how do you stop that one guy from getting through? i don't see rush limbaugh with anybody else giving a decent suggestion, using this for political gain. >> i don't understand, john, with all of the issues in the world, we've got all of these men and women fighting in a horrible place, like
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afghanistan, and still in iraq and the issues there, one person right now, their life is more important than all this kerfuffle and yet the right-wing radio, the right-wing tv, sean haven't, everybody is going loony tunes over this because i think you have seen an opening. this is consumerism. this is the republican party saying here is a chance we can get on the side of local television anchor people. we can all join the parade of complaint. we can all show movies of people in airports. we can join the jamboree of complaint at the complaint desk. isn't it just pure politics? >> well, no. this is actually people -- >> have you ever had a problem with the airport? >> this is actually -- i don't actually like being frisked up and down. i don't. >> when have you been frisked? >> i have been frisked a couple times and it's not that plesants. >> why? why were you picked out? >> one time i was actually overseas, they just frisked me. i don't know why. >> overseas? >> well, i'm just saying -- >> a problem, too? >> no, i didn't -- listen, i am not blaming obama for this, i'm blaming the tsa. i think that they can do a better job of doing this where
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they don't have to pick out grandmothers and 8-year-old children, that's my point. and i think that this is not about republicans. this is about the american people. and if you want to say that the american people don't have a right to complain about being frisked by tsa, you are entitled to that but i don't think -- >> the american people. the "washington post," and abc took a poll and asked people about this do you oppose the scan canners at airports? 64 to 32 don't. where are you are you the 32? are you speaking for the 32? >> i'm for scanners. i'm for scanners. i don't have a problem with scanners. >> well what's the fight about here? >> i don't like pat-downs. i think that's -- >> the pat-downs only come if you reject the scanner. >> right. well -- >> wait a minute, you wouldn't have to worry about i know overseas somewhere, i don't know what part of the world you were in. >> this he didn't have scanners back then. part of the problem with -- >> i think we are get nothing crazy land here. john, all of a sudden you came on to oppose the craziness of the airport, saying 99% of it is scanners. >> part of the problem, chris --
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>> let him talk. i'm sorry, what's your complaint here? >> well, i don't like the frisking. that's what i think. >> you only get frisking if you reject the scanner. >> the other point i don't like what the tsa is doing how they select the people for the scanning and for the pat-downs. it makes no sense. a better way to do that. >> john, john, john, there's a line for the scanner. if you get in that line, you can ask not to not be scanner which i will do, 'cause i would rather be groped than zapped by the radiation that is my only personal choice. if you don't do it you get the frisk. but you don't have to get the frisk -- let's look at charles krauthammer. nothing to do with safety.
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95% of these inspections, searches, shoe removals and pat-downs are ridiculously unnecessary. the only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd of a profiling when the profiler of an airline attacker is far this rocker concrete, uniquely definable. >> i agree with that. >> who should we with profile? >> the likely suspects. tell you who you don't profile? you don't profile grandmothers and 8-year-old children, which makes no sense. >> wait a second, john. what was richard reid? a white, jamaican of british citizenship. what about jihad jane, arrested in march? she was a white woman with blonde hair. the underwear bomber? a nigerian. i'm for profiling if you go after all white brits from jamaica, we go after all africans and anybody petite with blonde hair and blue eyes. are you with me on this? >> there is a way to do it that makes a lot more sense than what they have currently done. i think this is popular outrage by the american people. this is not a republican conspiracy, as you like to point out. this is people that are very upset about this and better ways to do that. >> you heard the right-wing talking. >> normally intelligent. here is george will. let's take a look at him. what the tsa is doing is mostly
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security theater, a knew sneakily pageant reassure passengers that flying is safe, reassurance is necessary if commerce is going to flourish. if grandma is coming to our house she may be wanded while barefoot at the airport because democracy or the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment anyway, something requires the amiable nonsense of pretending that no one has the foggiest idea what an actual potential terrorist might look like. now there is george will saying what might look like, again, falling into that trap, you know, i don't know if its enemy, we know that certainly the 9/11 guys, a scan wore have picked up their box cutters, scanning, a simple metal scanning should have picked that up. for some reason, it didn't. i think we ought to be not letting people get on airlines with phony driver's licenses which you can get in most states now, some 11 or so states now, get phony driver's licenses much the 9/11 guys were picked, went through their bodies what ever they found, a lot had phony driver's licenses. i think we could go through where you've traveled. they can look at things like that your country of origin is, where you came from that would be reasonable to check on.
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but in the end, it's not going to keep us from having people sneak onto planes with dangerous equipment. i think -- i'm going to ask you a question, john, who are you going to blame if we have an explosion on a plane? >> first, i will blame the terrorist. >> are you going to blame the president? >> i would blame the terrorists, i would blame and then i would -- then i would try to -- >> the president the next second? >> listen -- >> tried to -- >> let him answer, i think it would be sean, the rest of these guys, mark, all the guys after the president. >> already did that with the underwear bomber. >> probably get hit at some point, going to be more terrorism as long as we live, going to happen, reasonable to assume we can't stop all this eventually, something will happen and we have to deal with it. my argument, if the president is tough, heavy screening, all kinds of things people complain about he knows what he is facing down the road, that he is going to get blamed, as he should be. you agree with that? >> i think that the terrorists -- >> make the decision he is going to get blamed. if he is going to get blamed,
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shouldn't he decide how he's going to protect us? >> i am not blaming president obama for this i think the procedures could be better, tsa could do a better job and this is popular outrage, that is my point of view. >> popular outrage? >> let me agree with john. i think things could do better, but what is happening now is the right and republican politicians see an opening and not leading to a conversation that will make anything better. they are just -- is just pure exploitation and you are right, they hope that it fails i in some ways. >> guys like rush flying private planes trying to stir this up for their own good that's what's going on, rush limbaugh and the boys and sean and the rest of them and they are all doing this. it is your crowd. it's your fault, john feehery. >> not any fault of any one person. >> thanks for coming on, john, i think sometimes say things on the show you feel you have to say to support your crazy right-wing friends. >> no i think there is popular outrage. i really think there is popular outrage. >> by the way, i know you are not outraged, not going to fool me. thank you, david corn. thank you, john feehery. john, too normally to be outraged. who will emerge in the field of republicans to challenge
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president obama in 2012 in the republicans go for broke with sarah palin or play it safe with mitt romney. an interesting choice. let's survey the field and the prospects for president with two former presidential candidates next. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. i graduated from west point, then i did a tour of duty in iraq. when i was transitioning from active duty, i went to a military officer hiring conference. it was kind of like speed dating. there were 12 companies that i was pre-matched with, but walmart turned out to be the best for me. sam walton was in the military, and he understood the importance of developing your people. it's an honor to be in a position
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of course i believe that i could beat barack obama, otherwise, why would i even be contemplating a run? and again, of course it is to only contemplation at this time
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but i would be in it to win it. >> wow. welcome back to "hardball." that was sarah palin last night with fox's sean hannity. her book tour launched today and she is saying plenty of things to get everyone's attention. here is little more. let's listen to sarah palin. >> what is it that our country needs? we know we need common sense, we know we need experience in the oval office. we know we need someone who believes in time-tested truths and a restoration of all that's good and exceptional about america versus the transformation of america that presently we see coming out of the oval office. if there is no one whom i feel is in a position to be able to beat barack obama and if i feel that i am the candidate who can beat barack obama, i will run. >> how much of 2012 will center around palin's pondering and will it even matter if the economy continues to improve and erasing president obama's prospects with it? pat buchanan is is an msnbc analyst and gary hart, the author of the new book "with the thunder and the sunshine," thank you, senator, for joining us
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tonight. senator hart. you know, you came so close in '84 as far as so close, you won seven out of nine contests on supertuesday back in '84, and somehow the media decided that you had -- the other guy was still in the race, walter mondale and he turned a corner on you. what do you think this race looks like this time? >> much too early to say, obviously. it is amusing to hear the former two-year governor of alaska talking about the need for experience in the oval office, but i think we're going to hear a lot of that kind of nonsense. >> let me ask you, pat, this race. i remember jack germondo said the poll doesn't mean anything. let's look at this lineup, i find it interesting that sarah palin right now is leading, 19 point notice quinnipiac poll. her name i had must be about 100. mitt romney very high, also at 18. nobody be is blowing it away. nobody getting over 20 points, to me interesting. mike huckabee, much less well known than those two is up
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there, even with them basically at 17, then newt gingrich, probably a huge negative. he is up there at 15. and pawlenty, who is very unknown is at 6. what does that tell you? anything? >> tells me that those four are the front four and i don't think any candidate will breakthrough and beat them unless he has got either what goldwater had and mcgovern had which is a great cause, chris, and i don't see a cause candidate out there or charisma. now reagan had cause and charisma ran against ford in that race to the nomination but i think you will get your nominee out of those four. and if palin runs, i think the only thing that can stop her from being the conservative candidate that goes down to the wire as against the establishment candidate is huckabee getting in there, taking away those votes and maybe beating her in iowa. >> what do you think about the power of the west, senator? i get the feeling that palin is very smart to play on geography. she plays up the mama grizzly role, she plays up the fact that she's from northwest, you're a
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coloradan, a westerner. is that something that she could start with and could really give her a hook that the other candidates from the east and more traditional power plays, power centers of the country don't have? >> well, two observations, chris. first of all, pat's thought about the conservative versus establishment candidate seems to me every candidate's going to be conservative. it's a question of who is the farthest right and second, the only poll that matters right now is one that could be taken among the activists. the first primary is who gets the activists who gets the people in iowa, new hampshire who again shall as pat said, motivated by cause or personality? these broad-based polls of all republicans or people at large simply don't mean a thing. >> pat? you had the activists, you had the pitchfork people, i saw you
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up in new hampshire, it was lively rallies, you beat bob dole up there. >> well, here is my problem is i was unable to clear the field of other challengers. forbes' money kept him in and keyes motivation kept him in. they drained off a lot of the antiestablishment republican vote and i needed it all and i didn't get it all. you take reagan when he was in there against ford, he got it all, 1980 -- i disagree with this extent with senator hart. there are establishment republicans, all senator hart's right, they are all run as conservatives but some are authentic and others are basically washington-based, establishment-based. chris, where you're somewhat mistaken i think is this. palin does play against the east in the media but inside delaware, there was obviously enough republican conservatives to knock off the most popular republican in that state. >> yeah, let's take a look at this "new york times" poll, recently analyzed that the economy is robust which my economic model predicts, his
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economic model, begin to happen in the middle of 2011 obama wins easily. if the recovery is only modest, the election will be close with an edge for the republican f there is a double-dip recession, obama loses by a fairly large amount. well, that has to be the most obvious prediction i have ever heard in my life, senator. he is basically saying if the economy is strong, bet on obama if it is bad, bet on the republican. i don't know how you get a ph.d. by thinking at that length, but my thought is this, it seems to me that when you won in that place '83 in '84 when you were running it you were a real contender with mondel there. the outside guy. he was the inside guy, we all know that but seems to me that nobody knew that the up employment rate would drop to that magical number of seven. and all of a sudden, reagan, morning in america, running the ads, sunshine going, beats the heck out of mondale, 49 states. what do you think the unemployment rate has to get down for this president, up around 9 1/2 now, stuck up there. does he have to get down? can we all be economists and say this election turns on one number?
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if it's down to six, obama is in like -- he could be doing anything it will be 6. up around 9, no matter how sweet his talk, he is gone? your thoughts on the number? >> let's say if it is 4 -- if it is 4, he gets re-elected. i don't think there's a magic number, if the perception is people are going back to work and companies are finally investing in productivity and new technologies, people are feeling optimistic, he gets re-elected. >> i don't know about that for this reason. obama has astounded me, white america has just abandoned him, and a huge part of the electorate. secondly, he got that victory on the enthusiasm, energy and fire of young people, african-americans and hispanics. i don't see that energy and enthusiasm yet and, chris, quite frankly, obama's been demonized in the eyes of the american
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people, a huge number of them out there who might normally drift democratic to an extent i couldn't have imagined two years ago when need huge celebratory event on the mall. >> well, yeah, but you know, reagan was demonized as well in 1982 as we all remember, lost 26 seats, i was on the other side, i note success democrats felt, looked at gary hart, looked at mondale, as real potentials at that point. >> but reagan was rooted in middle america, there is no doubt about it. i don't think obama is or he is not perceived to be. >> well, that's right, but when you say white america, pat -- >> the majority of the vote. >> of course. but you are basically saying that he has the loyalty of hispanic and african-american voters that sticks with him through terrible times. yet whether the general population will come back and the times get better. your thoughts, senator hart? tell us briefly, your book "the thunder and the sunshine," a political memoir, would you say? >> that's -- that's exactly right. it details the mcgovern
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campaign, two senate terms and interesting experiences that i had afterwards, including remaking the russian telephone system, among other things. but it's -- it really is an effort to create some history, not create it, but to portray the history of the last 40 years, through my eyes at least and i try to do so fairly, thank you for asking. >> we will have you back on that one at some point. thank you so much, pat buchanan, thank you, gary hart. up next, the republican party offers some advice to incoming freshmen that's ahead the side show you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] clear some snow. ♪ or spread a little warmth. maxwell house gives you a rich full flavored cup of coffee so you can be good to the last drop. maxwell house gives you a rich full flavored cup of coffee [scraping] [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking]
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back to "hardball" in time for the "sideshow." first up, house rules, the republican leadership just came out with 144-page guide become for incoming republican freshmen. the basic? read and reread the u.s. constitution.
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keeping up with the party line, don't be afraid to say no. and always assume you're on camera when you're in the house chamber. even if you're simply looking at your cell phone, you might appear to be asleep. my personal favorite, if you don't want to see an activity or event reported on the front page of your local newspaper, don't do it. that's of course all good stuff but you can only believe when you discover yourself. i predict that warning about your behavior showing up on the front page of your newspaper will be overlooked to some new member's big embarrassment and we will be documenting it all right here on the "sideshow." rand paul has one of his own, the kentucky senator-elect signed a book deal on his plan to make the tea party vision a reality. the tea party comes to washington or goes to washington, is set to hit bookshelves in february. my big question, when do these people write these books? do they dictate them? how does it get done?
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finally, rahm emanuel has got some fences to mend. the subletter, subrenter of his chicago apartment or house, rather, rob halp, has refused to move out until his lease is up come june of next year. adding insult to injury, rahm's subletter has now filed papers to run against rahm for mayor. talk about tenet's rights. now for tonight's big number. republicans say they were given a mandate on election day to repeal health care, but is that what americans really want? and a new marist/mcclatchy poll how many registered voters say they want to keep health care reform or actually make it stronger? 51%, a narrow majority. republicans toeing a dangerous line here, of course, a majority of voters don't want health care reform going anywhere. 51%. tonight's very interesting number. up next, sarah palin, hillary clinton, nikki haley, michele bachmann, let's talk about how women on both sides of the aisle are change the face of american politics. it is all happening right now. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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hey there i'm veronica de la cruz. a texas juniory has convicted former house majority leader tom delay on money laundering charges. he was found guilty of illegally funneling corporate money to texas candidates in 2002. the money laundering charges carry a possible life sentence. an early snowstorm is creating whiteout conditions in parts of the midwestern u.s. on one of the busiest travel days of the year. mexico announcing plans to flood its northeastern region with troops and federal police, in hopes of reining in violent drug cartels. and another delay for the space shuttle "discovery." nasa wants more time to seal crackings in the fuel tank. investors gobbling up stocks on wall street today on reports consumers are gearing up for some serious spending this
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holiday season. and finally, president obama and the first family tonight helping hand out turkeys and pie to needy families at a volunteer center near the white house. have a happy thanksgiving and now back to "hardball." a couple of my girlfriends threw me my baby shower right here in this shooting range. baby shower. and i love to share that story because it gets the liberals all wee weed up. >> i can't tell where it is going. >> i know. >> don't retreat, just reload. they could do some damage here we need to calm these boys down real quick. that hurts like crap. >> wow. welcome to become "hardball." that, of course, is sarah palin
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in her new show "sarah palin's alaska." she is shooting, fishing and apparently thriving in that rugged terrain and rugged terrain of politics, she continues to chart obviously her own course. so how are sarah palin and the other leading women politicians changing the game of politics? michelle bernard is an msnbc political analyst and joan walsh, editor at large for so i want joan to bear with us now as we go to the right, we go to the hard right and start with sarah palin. >> all right. >> i tell you politics is changing or this had person, sarah palin is completely off the page. is she smart to say that women have to change their identity in this interesting world of sexual politics that this kind of rugged terrain out west, you know, this -- whatever you want to call it out there, yule gibbons' world she is living in, is it smart politics for a woman? >> i don't want to say it is smart politics for a woman but the fact it is working is
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telling me that it's smart politics. there is an audience for. this people like sarah palin. you see hundreds of thousands of people standing in line to get signed autographs of her books, you know, viewership of her new television show seems to be going very well. >> describe her if you have never seen her, obviously an attractive person, never seen her, know anything about her, how would you describe the particular appeal of sarah palin and what's new about her as a political leader in this country? what's different? >> i mean, what's different about her is she is very different than what we would call the second wave of feminist. she is very feminine, she's attractive she makes no bones to sort of talk about -- not really talk about her looks about her show off the fact she is a woman and enjoys being a different type of woman this whole thing with the hunting and the fishing and the ruggedness way life. that she lives if alaska is not
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something that you normally think about when you think about a woman and particularly a female politician and that is something that is very different for the country. >> what do you make of that in nonideological terms, joan? what we are look saying the sort of a trapper john look here. she is out there, out there in the wilderness, holding her own. obviously, she's got makeup on, looks attractive, as you were saying, michelle, but definitely got -- what we used to call i guess a good sport, guys would say, she is out there doing guy stuff but clearly, her own way. and she is the leader. she is not tagging along with todd here, she is the leader. what do you make of this in political terms? >> i think the west has always been very hospitable to women and picking up on that we had janet rankin of montana. and i think she is also benefiting from feminine, frankly, in the sense that she emerged on the stage the mother of five children with an infant in her arms and america accepted that. there was almost no debate, chris. it was really interesting. i think dr. laura, of all people, went after her. but you know, millions of american women and feminists had fought for the right to say we can with be mothers and we can be leaders and she comes in and she shows that she can do it and in that sense, you know, i applaud that.
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i applaud her as a role model for someone who can do both. >> why do men seem to like that, just generalizing but you can challenge me on this. this is what the show is about. >> okay. >> seem to be going for her and didn't go for hillary clinton. is that ideology or a statement? something different here than just pure left/right politics? >> i think there is more than just left/right politics. think most -- when she first came on the scene, i remember sitting at the republican convention and watching that speech that she gave and most men, whether there were left of center, right of center, were saying, wow, she's so attractive, she is so good looking. >> make her president? >> i don't think anyone who thinks they can see russia from their home in alaska is ever going to be elected president of the united states. >> that is tough. joan, i was going to ask joan to trump that one. throughout the midterm race, women challenging this is the part i find interesting, challenging the manliness of their opponents or certain reporters. let's listen to the record of this strange campaign, in the gender sense. >> man up, harry reid. you need to understand that we
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have a problem with social security. >> so i think if you want to repeal health care reform and let insurance companies go become to their worst abuses, congressman, then you ought to repeal your own first and man up and do what you are asking other people to do. >> my opponent is addicted to a culture of spending, waste, fraud and abuse, whether it's spending tax dollars on men's fashion shows or to pay off his cronies with sweetheart pension deals. >> you know, these are the type of cheap, underhanded, unmanly tactics that we have come to expect from obama's favorite republican, mike castle. you know, i released a statement today saying, mike, this is not a bake-off, get your man pants on. >> impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references. >> jan brewer has the cahones that our president does not have. >> joan walsh, i got to leave you full -- the other full platform to respond to these behaviors here.
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women taking down men on their on their masculinity, let's be blunt. that is what is going on here. what is that about? it is creepy it is very creepy. and you know, i know there was one democrat in that clip but it has become a kind of republican theme and i don't like it at all. you know, we have fought to have women not be judged exclusively on their sexuality or their femininity. and so, to use this -- to use women -- to put down men in this particular way, particularly democratic men, i'm sorry, i think it's creepy and i think it's a little bit disturbing. >> one thing is they all lost, they all lost, everyone we just showed lost, maybe they were desperation moves on the parts of the candidates regardless of their agenda. just taking shots. >> think they took pot shots and also shows we have got female candidates, some of whom are good candidates and some of who are bad. >> who you do you like? >> i love lisa murkowski. i absolutely love her. i think she is the heroine story. of 2010. >> a write-in. >> she was a write-in.
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>> harry or strom thurmond. >> my favorite republicans are sojourner truth and frederick douglass. this year lisa murkowski gets my vote. >> joan, who do you like this year on the democratic side? not as rich a field because democrats didn't win that many race. what are your thoughts first and then i will throw in my two cents. >> one thing we need to point out, this was the year of the woman, supposedly, the republican woman, we were down three women in congress, chris, but women, democratic women still outnumber republicans 2-1, so it's not as though the republicans are suddenly, you know, at parity with the democrats. so i just want to get that out. in terms of, you know, rising star, i think kirsten gillibrand is a star. i love the way she stood up to the wealthy new yorkers who were going to bring in our good friend from tennessee, harold ford jr. and say he should be -- >> he is tougher than she seems. she is tough. >> she is very tough. she is albany tough, you know?
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>> i like the fact that women are getting executive positions all over the country. these governorships are, in many ways, the jumping off point for the presidency. all these top execs -- i know the house races went against the numbers game is wrong but in terms of executive jobs, big-time decisionmaking, the buck stops here jobs, a lot of women getting those jobs around the country. >> absolutely. the other thing that i like on top of that it is the diversity of it. and, no, we don't have as many female republicans being elected as democrats but the bottom line is as women and as people are color we don't do ourselves any good -- any good service -- >> hero of this all, hillary clinton broke a lot of glass last time around. >> absolutely. >> a lot of ceilings were broken. joan, you have a right to say a lot more than i do thank you, michelle bernard and thank you, joan walsh, my dear, for this year and thank you. it is great having you as a colleague, both of you, the case. one of the things to be thankful for. let's have some thanks for our troops, by the way, joined next by the first service member wounded in iraq. i know this guy a little bit. what an impressive guy. wait'll you hear him. this is "hardball," only on msnbc.
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so, who do voters want to decide the political agenda in the new year's? a new gallup poll in "usa today" shows 28% of voters want president obama to have the most influence in setting a congressional agenda, but a nearly equal number, 27% say the tea party should drive government policy. another 23% say republican congressional leaders should set the agenda. very divided government looking our way. "hardball" will be right back. [ male announcer ] in the past, landing an airplane was complicated, with a series of stepped altitude changes. [ air traffic controller ] okay, 245, proceed to your next cleared altitude. [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] today, truecourse flight management systems from ge allow for fuel savings, lower emissions and less noise... ♪ ...making the old way of doing things...
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we are back. among the many things we are thankful for this thanksgiving is our troops and vet ran of course. retired marine staff sergeant eric alva was the first american injured in the iraq war. he lost his leg as a result of those injuries and was awarded a purple heart. today, he's spokesman for the human rights campaign and its efforts to repeal the don't is ask, don't tell policy. eric joins me now. eric i i'm so impressed with what you said at the human rights gala up in boston last week. i was lucky to be there and part of the program. sir, it is an honor to meet you. i think the american people would benefit from you giving us a little capsule narrative of what happened to you when you arrived in iraq. it is good to see you again, chris. it was only about three hours when we started the ground invasion and i was on a logistical convoy, unfortunately, on one of the times i stepped out of my vehicle, i triggered a land mine. my injuries were severe.
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a broken right arm with nerve damage. a broken left leg, and as you stated, my right leg had to be amputated. it's already estimated that i was there three hours. of course, giving me the dubious distinction of being the first american injured in iraq. so, i'm blessed to be alive, as you were talking about things to be thankful for. >> you know, i met you up here in boston, didn't know you lost your leg, you get around pretty well. how is it going in that regard? >> most people don't really notice that i lost my leg until i actually talk about it in my speech or you know, i have a very good prosthesisist who helped me get back to a normal life and walking and get back to things i enjoy, like scuba diving and skiing and living my life again, now as a gay proud marine. >> let's talk about that gay part, because you are very obviously a well-rounded guy, i enjoyed meeting you and so
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impressed with knowing you a bit. tell me about coming out and that decision to admit to or openly state, let's put it this way, objectively your orientation as a gay man. what was that about? why did you do that, after having already served, gotten your purple heart it is all behind you, why did you decide to say when i was there, when i did get blown up, when i was serving my country, when i was taking risks for my country, i was also a gay man. why did you say it after the fact? >> you know, i actually started country. mostly, i guess, here in my own state when we passed proposition 2 banning same-sex marriage. then i also started noticing other things in other states around the country that i started to realize that as a person who had made a sacrifice, you know, it was for the rights and freedoms of the people of this country. not just the selective few. not like the palins and mccains or boehners. they were for people like myself or other people of diverse nature. i'm a veteran, disabled,
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hispanic and i am a gay man. that's what makes up the people of this country, diversity. i knew hi to speak out as someone who had made a sacrifice for the people of this country. not just the selective few. >> let's get to the gist of this. how do people react, from your observation and personal experience, in the military to fellow members in the regimen when they're in their outfits they figure are gay and they don't say they're gay because you're not allowed to, but when they figure you're gay, how do they react them? do they accept them as part of the world? how do they react n your experience? >> in my experience, in units i served in in 13 years in the marine corps and post me telling people, every single person was always supportive. they treated me the same, with respect. i think because they knew as a person, as a 5'1" marine, no one wanted to may me on, but they knew i could do my job.
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it was about just me doing my job. not about who -- you know, my orientation. >> do you think there's any sense among the smart people who have been through training, who have faced the fire of the enemy, which most of us have not, to know what it's like to know you're going to face guys trying to kill you, there's any difference between a gay and a straight person in terms of that ability to be a warrior? what's your experience in that? what do you think the thought is among people know what the hell they're talking about? >> you know, that's a good point. the people who actually are the ones who are proponents on keeping don't ask, don't tell, it's kind of ludicrous they're the ones that want to get rid of it, but have nerve served in uniform. i served in somalia during '92-93 before blackhawk down, then in iraq and around the world. i am someone who knows from firsthand experience what people need to do to do their job as far as camaraderie, you know, discipline, unit cohesion and the marines who know me today will back me up to say, you
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know, he did his job. and we're the ones who know what it's like to serve in combat, and in hermarm's way. the people who constantly say that we can't have gays in the military are the ones who have never put the uniform on and don't even know what it is like. the people like senator mccain who have wore the uniform, they are just avoiding the fact that, you know, we can do our job. i mean, and they were aware that, you know, ever since this country's independence, gay men and women have served in the military. we have functioned as a good armed forces that represents, you know, what the american people are about. >> all right. people can disagree, but we all can thank you for your service. argument is part of the american life. have you the best case, i think. eric alva distinguished himself serving our country. good luck in your fight for open service. we'll finish with what i'm thankful for, the opportunity to
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let me finish tonight on the eve of thanksgiving to give thanks for this opportunity i have. as you can tell, it's really fun, even toward the end of the week when we all get tired no matter how dood the job. i'm tlankful to have this chance to be myself, a citizen of this country and to show my human reaction to the events and issues of the day. i've always cared about them,
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actually. since i was very young i cared about the two enduring issues of national government. what role do we americans -- what we should be doing in the world and what role the u.s. government, the government here in washington, should plan our lives at home. those are the central questions. and because times change, they will always, always have an answer that may different. it's why we have these debates. i want to make a couple of promises to myself and to you tonight on how i play my role in these matters on who should lead us, of course, what our government should be doing. i'm allowed to do have an opinion. that's obvious. people want to know what i think. my first job is to get the facts straight. to tell you what i believe are the actual reality we're confronting. nobody needs propaganda, certainly not you people. reality, the cold reality is what you want because itsd the only thing you can really use to build your own opinions. you can hear what i think or what someone else thinks, but you can't think or at least not usefully without knowing the
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facts and their true proportion and content, can you? can anybody? second, fairness is important to me. if i catch someone doing something, an unfair tv ad, a dishonest attack or claim,ly hit them hard. even if i agree with them generally. i am quite willing to see them as i see them. "hardball" is based on the argument back and forth. it's built on tough questions, on confronting people who may or may not know what they're talking about. forcing them to belly up to the bar and answer the question. if i'm on, on my game, if you will, i know precisely what question to ask that will open the reality of an issue. one to impact the matter of all of us. for the hardballers out there get to hear the views if i get people to come on the show and defend themselves, at least do their best. this is "hardball," a show i always wanted to do. fact-based, heed seeking, asking truth of those with